The time has come for the endless summer nights to be filled with the sounds of the sizzling grills and smoky scent of Asian barbeque. A popular choice of cuisine in LA, Korean/Japanese barbeque is a must try staple and element of LA culture. If you haven’t tried it, you haven’t experienced LA and all its melting pot glory. And, you also haven’t had the dilemma of wearing your nice clothes to dinner only to find out that you smell of Korean barbeque from head to almost toe!  It can be quite the first world problem. Unless you enjoy it. Then, rock on.

These restaurants have the honor of being a part of the first inaugural Glorious Food Awards – Category: Best BBQ in Los Angeles. Winners are chosen based on the following criteria:

  1. Taste
  2. Originality
  3. Service
  4. Value

Restaurants who demonstrate exemplary promise are considered in the final review for the Glorious Awards. Truly, these awards are meant to recognize the restaurants that serve dishes and experiences that feel glorious on our palates and create memories for years to come.

As many would argue, Asian barbeque has several different categories. Asian barbeque is an umbrella term in my world. Under that, there’s AYCE (all you can eat barbeque) and non-AYCE. This segmentation creates the simplest categorization of all the different types of barbeque. For simplicity’s sake, let’s go with this organization. Then under AYCE and non-AYCE, we’ll list Japanese and Korean as these are the dominant forms of Asian barbeque. Also, Japanese BBQ doesn’t have an AYCE option. Not surprised.

 

KBBQ Flowchart
*To be covered in another post.

 

Accordingly, it would be fair for each category to have one winner. Additionally, each category will have one winner and runner-ups.

These are the categories:

  1. Best Asian BBQ in LA: Korean – AYCE
  2. Best Asian BBQ in LA: Korean – Non-AYCE
  3. Best Asian BBQ in LA: Japanese

 

Best Asian BBQ in LA: Korean BBQ – AYCE

Winner: Shik Do Rak

 

All you can eat meat that is good quality but also comes with attentive service. The variety of banchan is great, especially when they have the seaweed ban chan. The rice paper comes freely and freshly. No wonder this place is a favorite.

$$

Garden Grove, CA

 

 

 

https://www.yelp.com/biz/shik-do-rak-garden-grove

 

 

Best Asian BBQ in LA: Korean BBQ – Non-AYCE

Winner: Kang Ho Dong

 

Three words: steamed egg moat! Yum! As the meat grills, the fat trickles into the steamed egg. Once the egg becomes slightly cooked, it’s heavenly tender tofu-like consistency is dreamy. The meat is also delicious; my personal favorite is their garlic marinade. Be prepared to wait a couple hours at prime dinner and lunch rush.

$$$

 

https://www.yelp.com/biz/kang-ho-dong-baekjeong-los-angeles-4

 

Best Asian BBQ in LA: Korean BBQ – Non-AYCE

Honorable Mention: Yang San Bak

 

Three words-ish: kimchi moat. The meat fat drips into the kimchi moat and flavors the kimchi. If you grill the kimchi, it gets this beautiful carmelization that brings out the smokey and sweet flavor of the kimchi. The meat quality is also very good as well as the service.

$$

Los Angeles, CA

 

https://www.yelp.com/biz/yang-san-bak-los-angeles

 

Best Asian BBQ in LA: Japanese BBQ

Winner: Manpuku

Carefully cut pieces of tender, red juicy meat plated neatly with vegetable garnishes – it’s a refreshing break from typical Korean barbeque. The set menu at Manpuku comes with flavorful salad and kimchi fried rice. It’s pricey but worth trying. There’s also happy hour!

 

$$$

 

Los Angeles, CA

 

https://www.yelp.com/biz/manpuku-tokyo-bbq-los-angeles

 

Best Asian BBQ in LA: Japanese BBQ

Honorable Mention: Tokyo Kalbi

Savor each piece because there’s not much given. The quality of each slice of meat is luxuriously marbled and marinated perfectly. A few dipping sauces are offered to change up your flavors. There’s a set called the “Lady’s Set” which is really weird. They haven’t met the modern lady who can eat like a beast.

 

$$$

 

https://www.yelp.com/biz/tokyo-kalbi-los-angeles-2

 

There you have it.

I think it’d be a good idea to have a vegan post in the future to balance all this meat consumption.

 

Note that we don’t accept any monetary or endorsements of any form from any restaurant or similar entity. This review is purely based on honesty and love of food.